Fiona Apple has been pretty elusive in the music world for the past seven years, aside from a few live performances and Tumblr posts. Though her contribution is more source material and harmonies here, there’s something satisfying about hearing the venerable singer-songwriter team with young newcomer and fan King Princess for a cover of Apple’s 1999 track “I Know.”
Originally featured as the closing track on Apple’s When the Pawn…, the song is a painful, heart-wrenching tale of being in love with someone who is taken. It’s a simple piano ballad that builds into a lush, jazzy arrangement. King Princess remains faithful to the original in her version, but her Juul-coated throat makes it smokier, and somehow even more exquisitely sullen, than Apple’s original. It’s both bitter and dejected, layered with Apple’s careful, quiet support behind her.
The cover also shows off a new aspect of King Princess’ range. Her output thus far has been minimal; she dropped her debut EP Make My Bed last year and filled it with rock-leaning pop stunners full of careful details and biting, lovelorn reflections. She teased her trajectory more with the fun, upbeat “Pussy Is God.” To follow such a cheeky turn with a heartbreaking cover and to pull off both with complete sincerity and conviction bodes well for this rising star’s bright future.